Perforum Postgraduate Conference 2017
Department of Drama & Theatre Studies
School of Music & Theatre
University College Cork
Practice-As-Research at the intersection between embodied practice and theory
1— Monday 19/06/17
BODY ACTIVITIES I: Workshops (9:30-12:15)
Venue: The Drama Lab, Connolly Building, Western Road, Cork
9:00 Registration (The Drama Lab)
Chair: Dr. Bernadette Cronin, Drama & Theatre Studies, UCC.
9:30-10:15 –WORKSHOP (I)- Cathy Walsh
Title: SpoonTalk: Intimacy, Communication and Time
‘One on one’ research and performance practice in which the participant can be held and listened to (either verbally or just physically). I am invested in somatic research, exploring intimacy using touch and voice. I am an improviser, using the voice as a tool for research, communication and expression. I am interested in intimacy and how we can connect and communicate with other bodies, through contact, performance and especially one to one engagement. I find it to be a nourishing practice that opens up questions and complexities beyond what one would expect.The workshop is suitable for anyone, but perhaps particularly those interested in the power of communication through care and contact, a sense of curiosity is a must. The participants should be willing to spoon (one lying behind the other).
Title: The Small Dance /The Stand
An experiential practice which historically was fundamental to the development of Contact Improvisation, The “Small Dance” was devised by Steve Paxton in the 1970s as part of his movement research. I was taught by Nancy Stark Smith in 2005 and have been practicing ever since. The Stand is one of my staples as a dancer, performer and teacher. It is a very accessible practice that provides space for participants to dive deep into their embodied anatomy. It is a standing score with verbal instructions that bring awareness to the micro-movements involved in the act of standing. It can lead into further exploration of walking and dancing.
11:30-12:15 –WORKSHOP (III)- Jack Beglin
Title: Sitting into Movement Meditation
Shamatha – Vipashyana are Sanskrit words meaning mindfulness – awareness or peaceful abiding – insight. Jack encountered Shamatha – Vipashyana sitting mediation at a local Shambhala Buddhist meditation centre in Dublin. He became interested in the relationship between sitting meditation and movement and how these practices can cultivate the performer’s scenic presence.
In this workshop we will practice a Shamatha – Vipashyana sitting meditation and gently transition into a simple movement exploring the undulation of the spine. Our intention is to explore the possibility of contemplative movement.
2— Monday 19/06/17
BODY ACTIVITIES II & III: PAPERS 13:45-16:45
Venue: Conn B, Connolly Building, Western Road, Cork
13:15 -Registration (Conn B)-
Body Activities II (13:45-15:00)
Chair: Leslie Burton, MRes, PhD Candidate, DTS, UCC.
13:45-14:05 –The Aesthetics of Interruption: Navigating the Maternal through Performance Practice. Dr. EL (Emily Lauren) Putnam.
14:05-14:25 -Knowledge and Dance: Case Study Corp_Real | Galway Dance Days 2012-2017. Dr. Finola Cronin and Dr. Ríonach Ní Néill.
14:25-14:45 –Sound in the Logic of Movement. Dr. Óscar Mascareñas.
Body Activities III 15:15-16:45
Chair: Leanne Foxwell, MRes, DTS, UCC.
15:15-15:35 –Migrante: The embodiment of transition. Paulina Bronfman Collovati.
15:35-15:55 –Writing the Body and the Touch of the World. Dr. Gert Hofmann.
15:55-16:15 -The Significance of the Body in the Performance Art of Amanda Coogan.
3— Monday 19/06/17
PARTICIPATORY PERFORMANCE (19:00-20:30)
Venue: Shandon Area
19:00-20:30 –PARTICIPATORY PERFORMANCE led by Amanda Coogan in collaboration with a group of participants: at 19:00 Amanda will meet participants at The Guesthouse Arts Centre (10 Chapel Street, Shandon area, Cork) to explain the activity; then they will perform around Shandon area until 20:30, and finally return to the Guesthouse to end the session with tapas/dessert (€8).
Registration and payment in advance for both is necessary, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
4— Tuesday 20/06/17
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: 10:30-11:30
Venue: Geography Lecture Theatre, across from the Glucksman Gallery, UCC.
10:00 -Registration (Geography Lecture Theatre, across from The Glucksman Gallery, UCC)
Chair: Jools Gilson, Professor of Creative Practice, Head of School of Music & Theatre, UCC.
10:30-11:30 –Keynote speaker Performance Artist Amanda Coogan.
5— Tuesday 20/06/17
Amanda Coogan: Long Now Film
Venue: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin St., Cork
16:00-18:00 –Amanda Coogan: Long Now Film and Q&A
Chair: Kirstie North, Department of Art History, UCC
Tickets €6 from Triskel Box Office
Amanda Coogan: Long Now is a new 60min documentary film which explores Coogan’s durational performance art practice. The film captures Coogan during a gruelling six week live durational exhibition, I’ll sing you a song from around the town. Hosted in Dublin’s RHA Gallery, the exhibition became the gallery’s most successful and visited in its history. Spanning six weeks, Coogan performed live, for six hours a day, five days a week for the entire run. The film visually explores the exhibition’s beautiful live performance, interwoven with Coogan’s reflections on the work.
Thank you to:
The Drama Lab and Conn B are both in the Connolly Building, Western Road, Cork.
Connolly Building is halfway between Cork City center and UCC main campus, 10 minutes walk from the city center. There are a number of shops and cafes around the area too.
Once you get to the Connolly Building you will see signs for both The Drama Lab and Conn B seminar room.
The Drama Lab is on the 1st Floor and Conn B on the ground floor.
This is the link where you can see the images below:
The Geography Lecture Theatre is on the main UCC campus, across from The Glucksman Gallery.
The Guesthouse, 10 Chapel Street, Shandon, Cork.
Triskel Arts Centre Tobin St., Cork City. Box Office Phone: (021) 427 2022
The Drama Lab, 1st floor, Connolly Building, Western Road, Cork:
Conn B, ground floor, Connolly Building, Wester Road, Cork:
Amanda Coogan is an internationally recognised and critically acclaimed artist working across the medias of live art, performance, photography and video. She is one of the most dynamic and exciting contemporary visual artist’s practicing in the arena of performance. Her 2015 exhibition in the Dublin’s Royal Hibernian Academy, I’ll sing you a song from around the Town, was described by Artforum as ‘performance art at its best’.
Her extraordinary work is challenging, provocative and always visually stimulating. In 2010 the Irish Times said, ‘Coogan, whose work usually entails ritual, endurance and cultural iconography, is the leading practitioner of performance in the country’. Her expertise lies in her ability to condense an idea to its very essence and communicate it through her body. Using gesture and context she makes allegorical and poetic works that challenge expected contexts.
Her works encompass a multitude of media; Objects, Text, Moving and Still Image but all circulate around her live performances. She is at the forefront of some of the most exciting and prolific durational performances to date. The long durational aspect of her presentations invites elements of chaos with the unknown and unpredicted erupting dynamically through her live artworks, She is first and foremost an embodied practionner. Her work often begins with her own body and challenges the expectations of the contexts, such as head banging to Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’, and signing the lyrics to Gill Scott-Heron’s ‘The Revolution will not be Televised’. Her work moves freely between solo presented live performances, group performances and living installation.
Coogan holds a degree in Sculpture fom Dublin’s National College of Art and Design. She was a Masters student of Marina Abramovic at the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunst in Braunschweig, Germany and received her PhD from the University of Ulster in 2013. She is an occasional lecturer at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin; Limerick School of Art and Design; The Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dublin; Dublin Institute of Technology and Crawford College of Art, Cork.
Among many awards Coogan recieved the Allied Irish Bank’s Art prize in 2004. She has performed and exhibited her work extensively including the Broad Museum, Michigan; The Neimeyer Centre, Spain; The MAC, Belfast; Lismore Arts, Waterford; HOME mrc, Manchester; The Golden Thread, Belfast; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Venice Biennale, Liverpool Biennial, The LAB, Dublin; Limerick City Gallery of Art; PS1, New York, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, West Cork Arts Centre; Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris and the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin.
Cathy Walsh is a choreographer, performer, and technician working between Cork and Berlin. She holds a BA in Theatre Studies from University College Cork, an MA in Contemporary Dance from the University of Limerick, and a post-graduate in Ensemble Performance Practice from Queen’s University Belfast. Her work focuses on Conversation, Intimacy, and Improvisation and she uses voice and strategies for constructing situations together with the audience. She is currently interested in investigating concepts of Time, National Identity and how to build a community worth living in. She is an avid podcast listener. She is currently collaborating with dance artist Maria Svensson on a duet, to be performed in Ireland next year.
Colleen Bartley is an independent dance artist based in London with a background in contemporary dance, community dance and improvisational practices. Her creative practice draws on presence, improvisation, responding to place and embodied anatomy. She documents dance and also makes dance for the camera. She’s worked in Cork for two summers at the Crawford Gallery with artist Colette Lewis and they collaborated on a project for the Cork City of Culture 2005.
Jack Beglin is an actor and visiting scholar to Naropa University with a Masters in Physical Actor Training from The University of Kent. As an actor Jack collaborates with Dublin based ensemble Fire Door Theatre and presented physical theatre work at the 2017 Moving Bodies Butoh and Live Art Festival (Turin and Dublin). As a scholar, Jack studied Mudra Space Awareness with Professor Lee Worley at Naropa University and practices meditation through the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. Jack is also an ICF qualified meditation instructor though Susan Piver’s Open Heart Project.
Dr. EL (Emily Lauren) Putnam is a visual artist, scholar, and writer working predominately in performance art, video, sound, and interactive media. Her work draws from multiple themes and sources, including explorations of gender and sexuality, play, materialism, and the study of place, which she investigates through personal and cultural lenses. Her writing and research focuses on continental aesthetic philosophy, performance studies, digital studies, feminist theory, and examining the influence of neoliberalism on artistic production. In 2013, she completed her PhD in Visual Arts: Aesthetics, Art Theory, and Philosophy at the Institute of Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. EL has actively been presenting artworks and performances in the United States and Europe for the past decade, is a committee member of Bbeyond Belfast, and has been a member of the Mobius Artists Group since 2009. She currently is a research assistant at the Dublin Institute of Technology.
Paper Title: The Aesthetics of Interruption: Navigating the Maternal through Performance Practice.
Since 2014, when I was pregnant and gave birth to my daughter, I have been creating an ongoing series of performances that emerge from my embodied experiences of the maternal. By treating art as a site of exploration and of knowledge production, my latest works aim to dispute the myth of the maternal figure as self-less by emphasizing the transsubjectivity of mother and child, where the mother supports another being without losing herself in the process. Testing the notion that women must find a balance between the domestic and professional spheres, I take advantage of motherhood’s blurring of the private and public realms to create works that are in response to my life circumstances while challenging traditional expectations. I have two predominant means within my practice: one is creating performances where my daughter is present, which typically occurs in the context of a Bbeyond Performance Monthly; the other is creating performances that respond to my interactions with my daughter, but are performed without her present. Through these embodied performance methods, I am interested in investigating various themes including: the liminal space between the visible and invisible of the mother’s body; gestures of influence; supporting presence and interdependence; the endurance of patience; sensations of alienation resulting from cultural difference as an American raising a daughter in Ireland; and split attention. Not only am I stretching my personal understanding of what it means to be a mother by framing it through aesthetic, performance actions, but I perform the intimacies of maternal labour in a public artistic context, emphasizing the plurality of motherhood. In this paper, using Lynette Hunter’s definition of situated knowledge, I discuss how my performance practice functions as more than just a reflection of events, an illustration of theoretical inquiry, or a means of technical creation, but as a site of knowledge production in its own right through my embodied experiences of the maternal, creating what I refer to as an aesthetics of interruption.
Dr. Finola Cronin is Head of Drama Studies at UCD. She studied dance in Dublin and at the London School of Contemporary Dance. She performed in Germany with Vivienne Newport (Frankfurt) and Pina Bausch (Wuppertal) and recently with Raimund Hoghe (Germany/France). She teaches choreography, and drama & performance studies at UCD, and is director of the UCD/GSA MA in Theatre Practice. With Eamonn Jordan she edited The Contemporary Irish Theatre and Performance Studies Reader Dublin: Carysfort Press (2016).
Dr. Ríonach Ní Néill is Galway Dance Artist in Residence, and Dance Curator at Firkin Crane, Cork. Former member of Tanztheater Bremen, & performer for Finola Cronin, Fearghus Ó Conchúir, Rex Levitates, she has won international awards for her choreographic work. She holds a PhD in Urban Geography from UCD and has lectured on dance for older people in Germany, and dance and environment in Sweden and Ireland.
Paper title: Knowledge and Dance: Case Study Corp_Real | Galway Dance Days 2012-2017.
This paper is based on the premise that bodies are sites of knowledge (Merleau-Ponty et al.), and on the paradox that dancing bodies and dance practices may not be ‘sites’ but are rather embodied fluid expressions of reflection and research through movement. As Susan Foster argues, choreographic decisions engage with research in social, cultural and political environments, and aligned to this, it is pertinent to ask what are the conditions of dance as knowledge?
This paper will introduce the Galway Dance Days | Corp_Real series of symposia as an inclusive practice that is embodied and academic. The symposia has given parity to practice as knowledge and knowledge as practice, and interrogated how embodied practices and dance investigates, theorises and communicates contemporary social issues. Through performance and discussion, Corp_Real | Galway Dance Days has practiced a multi-disciplinary dialogue between dance artists, academics and practitioners and interrogated diverse themes such as conflict, gender, feminism, geography, the environment, social activism.
In collaborative partnerships, the symposia have powerfully designated that the gathering of live bodies in collective and inclusive enquiry (which echoes ideas of Randy Martin and Ramsay Burt) creates exciting collisions that may act to pressurise normative ideologies.
Key questions emerge such as: how do artistic embodied practices infiltrate and support bodies in other contexts? What does it say about the academy, the State, and dance, that the 2016 symposium The Dance Artist Survival Toolkit found its focus on the working lives of dance artists? And how does the power of live engagement between practice and theory support bodies’ powerful ephemerality to provoke the notion of embodied practices as sites that can elide fixity
Dr. Óscar Mascareñas (PhD) is a poet, composer, performer, filmmaker and musicologist. He has published work, given concerts, conferences and master classes extensively in Europe and the Americas. He is the founding course director of the BA Voice and Dance at the Irish World Academy in UL, and founding chair of the Cage-Cunningham Professorship in Contemporary Performance at the Monterrey Conservatoire in Mexico. He currently lectures and researches full time at the Academy.
Title: Sound in the Logic of Movement.
Author: Dr. Óscar Mascareñas
Affiliation: Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland.
The purpose of this presentation is to outline and discuss the creative process involved in the composition of FIGURES, a recent work for piano directed and devised by composer Óscar Mascareñas and performed by dance artist Nora Rodríguez. FIGURES has been inspired by the work of Francis Bacon as seen and understood by Gilles Deleuze in his book Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation. Just as Bacon’s paintings are based on a ‘logic of sensation’, FIGURES is based on the notion of ‘sound in the logic of movement’. In this series, the composer explores the production of sonic material through the somatic experience of the dancer, something that he calls ‘choreosonography’, a concept that involves the physicalisation of sounds and the sounding of physicalities. Although the composition of FIGURES is based on specific sensations and movement and sound principles and techniques, its performance is rather indeterminate in nature. Every sound follows a displacement, and this sequence depends not on a musical order, but on how the space (the piano) is negotiated by the performer’s body as she follows a logic of movement, which is never fixed. In FIGURES sensation is the score. The aim in this work is to transform somatic forces into sounds through an exploration of the relationship between the piano and the body. This stimulates the formulation of new questions that aim to shift the boundaries of established disciplines and develop new paradigms in composition and performance within the realm of the performing arts.
Paulina Bronfman Collovati is a PhD researcher from The University of York, UK.
Actress and theatre director from The Catholic University of Chile, she has postgraduate studies in Theatre direction at The University of Chile and a Masters of Arts in Education at University of York funded by Conicyt Chile. She taught acting and theater direction in Santiago (Chile) before starting her studies at University of York in 2013. Currently she is doing a PhD at The University of York funded by Conicyt Chile. Her PhD research titled “Problematizing Shakespeare under the gaze of Human Rights” is focused on the potential relation between human right themes and selected Shakespeare plays using a feminist epistemological approach.
Title: MIGRANTE: The embodiment of transition.
This paper explores the links between the concept of embodiment, migration and transition through the analysis of the Chilean play Migrante. The piece of contemporary dance, directed by Sebastián de la Cuesta, Rodrigo Leal and Cristián Reyes, investigates the concept of migration beyond the geographical meaning, as a metaphor for transit in a range of contexts such as corporal, political and sexual. The work develops the concept of transit and the range of meanings associated with the geographical and political migration in Europe and Latin-America now. The plays in centered on the idea of the “migrant body” were the biographical and political issues converge as a manifestation of reality and represent both the physical and abstract idea of migration.
This paper explores the possibilities of the body as a support where migration is embodied and especially in the impossibility of documenting the internal transitions of migration. Also, this work investigates how the body survives the profound changes of migration. The same body that the migrant inhabits but also that moves them from one geographical point to another. The body is represented as the limit of their own geography.
This paper is focuses on intersectionality, linking issues on gender, race and multiculturalism under a feminist epistemological perspective. The methodology used was based on interviews with the creators and analysis of visual material.
Dr. Gert Hofmann: After years of learning and wandering in Würzburg, Münster, Hanover, Vienna, Seoul, Philadelphia, Seattle and Montreal, Gert Hofmann is today the Head of the Department of German in UCC. He has published numerous books on literary and philosophical anthropology, most recently, together with Snježana Zorić, Presence of the Body. Awareness in and beyond Experience (Leiden and Boston: Brill | Rodopi 2016).
Title: Writing the Body and the Touch of the World.
“Writing the body” (Jean-Luc Nancy) aims at understanding the most basic, foundational conditions of human awareness in an approach that focuses on the corporeal prior to the intellectual qualities of human subjectivity.
Looking at the body as the agent of writing refrains from presuming the existence of an a-priori meaning, which imposes the cognitive takeover of the world. Instead, it suggests the ongoing emergence of meaning in an expansive event of “touching upon sense” (Jacques Derrida), i.e. in a touching encounter between world and corporeal self.
In the physical experience of touch, the cognitive distinction of self and other seems to be blurred, while at the same time both emerge anew from their mutual tender attention. Where the conceptual grasp of knowledge in science is meant to be possessive and definitive, the touch upon meaning in the artistic act of writing remains essentially volatile, blurred, ambiguous, open-ended and creative.
The talk will develop some radical ideas about the artistic and performative qualities of the act of writing and its corporeal subjectivity.
Heather Dorgan is currently completing an MA in Modern & Contemporary Art History, Theory and Criticism in UCC. She holds a UCC undergraduate honours degree specialising in Art History. She aspires to continue into the academic discourses surrounding Contemporary Art in fields such as Feminism, Appropriation, Performance Art and activism in art. Ultimately, she intends to complete a PhD and become a lecturer in Contemporary Art history and theory as well as to publish her research.
Title: The Significance of the Body in the Performance Art of Amanda Coogan.
Having recently completed a paper about the significance of the body in the Performance Art of Amanda Coogan, I would really enjoy participating in this conference that is centred on the body. In my paper I apply Julia Kristeva’s theory of the abject and Judith Butler’s theories surrounding the female body in politics to a selection of Coogan’s performances from I’ll Sing You a Song from Around the Town performed in the RHA in 2015, focusing specifically on Bubble Up In Blue with references to Yellow and Spit Spit, Scrub Scrub to understand the potential intentions and effects of the simple corporeal actions of these pieces. In this work I consider time, body, site, audience and corporeal action. I focus on defining the theories proposed by both writers and apply them to the performances, before combining the conclusions to work towards an understanding of the importance of the body in the Performance Art of Amanda Coogan, and how these meanings are communicated in an inter-subjective experience shared between performer and spectator. Through this paper I come to the following conclusions: the body in Coogan’s Performance Art is manipulated to make the subject aware that the female body is codified, and conscious of the social structures that hold the image of the woman or feminine in place. The power of the body in Coogan’s performances is in the ability to open the eyes of the perceiver, making them think for themselves based on experiential encounter. She achieves this by using her body as a site of the abject, as defined by Kristeva, and through repetition and subversion as proposed by Judith Butler. This is also accomplished through the careful organisation of site, timing and the actions of the body to skillfully move the audience into a liminal space of instability. The medium of the artwork is essential to creating this collaborative, interpersonal experience with the spectator.